Simpson needs tighter-fitting shirts ... but not gray
On Sunday at the Players Championship, Webb Simpson broke Rule 9.4b. The rule states, in part: “If the player lifts or deliberately touches his or her ball at rest or causes it to move, the player gets one penalty stroke.” Unless the ball is on the green.
Simpson was standing on the fringe at the 14th hole at TPC Sawgrass when the end of his long putter got snagged on his shirt and caused his ball to move. He was given a one-stroke penalty.
In an interview after the round, he said: “This is where I’m going to be loud and clear. We have to get intent into the rules. We have to. Because it’s killing our game when it comes to these kind of things.” He added, “What they try to say is either it's hard to write the rule with intent or you open it up for gray area."
What “gray area”? Simpson wasn’t on the green. His putter accidently hit the ball, so it's a penalty.
Someone from the USGA needs to be loud and clear and tell Simpson to read the rules. He obviously doesn't know the new rules or he wouldn't have made such an ignorant statement. Or he could wear tighter-fitting shirts.
He also said that if you look for a lost ball and accidentally move it, then it's a penalty. He said last year it was no penalty. Again, this is not true. The rule for 2019 states that it's no penalty.
It's really getting old hearing these "professional golfers" complain about the rules. You play on the best courses, get treated like royalty and you complain.
Should Simpson have something negative to say about the rules, he at least read them first before he appears on national TV.
Touring pros ought to know rules
I am perplexed by how many PGA Tour professionals constantly violate the rules of their own livelihood.
They should have these rules memorized for their job. Sure, they can call in an official to get a ruling, but they should know the answer to the question before they even ask it. Every sport has gray areas, and it is in the interpretation of the gray areas where the PGA Tour rules officials are needed. Recent cases in point: Harold Varner being assessed a two-stroke penalty for assembling a club from components on the course, and Rickie Fowler taking a drop from shoulder height rather than knee height.
Their caddies should be as well versed on the current rules and new changes as their employers. It should be part of the job description, to help their employer from being penalized for violations of the Rules of Golf while doing their job of playing professional golf.
River Ridge, La.
What’s wrong with Spieth? Plenty, apparently
I have been following Jordan Spieth since his junior days, and have always been a huge fan of his. I know he won't listen, but he needs to change everything golf-related. This includes his instructor. Just look at the crazy things Cameron McCormick does on his program on Golf Channel. Butch Harmon could straighten out Spieth in about a week (“Fix for Spieth? Keep it simple, rivals say,” March 18).
Spieth also needs to change his mental game, which would involve some sessions with Bob Rotella. Spieth claims he is mentally tough, which belies his results. He has plummeted from being a former No. 1 to 30th in the world, and is 48th in FedEx points. He made some cuts earlier in the year but faded quickly on the weekend.
At this point, he has zero chance of making any team (Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup).
It's a shame that he has put his talent to waste. He needs to make some big-time changes, and quickly.
Furyk emerged as a winner, too
While I do not want to take away from Rory Mcllroy's victory in the Players Championship – in fact, I have been looking forward to his return to the winner's circle – I was disappointed that more was not said about Jim Furyk's exceptional play (“McIlroy shows he still knows how to close,” March 18).
Furyk did not win the tournament, but he is a winner for the way he pulled ahead of a talented and much younger field.
Lost Creek, W.Va.
Mickelson shows effects of psoriatic arthritis
Golfers with psoriatic arthritis, especially those older than 40, know how hard it is to putt when their hands are acting up.
Because of that fact, I have been wondering whether that is why Phil Mickelson is so inconsistent, so I tried to pay close attention to his hands, when shown close up, during the first two rounds of the Players Championship.
A couple of times, it appeared that his hands were shaking slightly – once right after he missed one of those 3-footers.
Maybe I am seeing things, but in my mind his psoriatic arthritis could well be affecting him more than we know.
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Morning Read has become my new addiction. Every morning, I can’t wait to see the latest news and opinions being discussed about the game I love.
The things which I and the guys with whom I play are talking about are the things Morning Read is all about. Whether it be the new rules, slow play or just who is hot on the PGA Tour, your writers are giving me what I want. Please keep it up.
Hearing from other guys in the “inbox” is the best.
That’s no way to treat volunteers
I want to commend Jim and Ginny Kavanagh for their volunteering (“Volunteers lend a hand in labor of love,” March 15). They are what makes a tournament go.
I volunteered for the U.S. Senior Open a few years back and found it to be delightful, meeting some really wonderful people with the same endeavor. I do find it interesting that the Players Championship, totally run by and supportive of the PGA Tour, expects the most and gives its volunteers the least. The Tour, which touts its giving as its biggest benefit so that it may stay a nonprofit (cough, cough), does the least for the ones who allow the Tour to boast of giving the most.
I always have maintained that the Tour operations is a for-profit enterprise while tournaments are big charity generators by the sponsors and local volunteers. My bet is that commissioner Jay Monahan gets a raise every year, as does his entire tour staff. But expect a volunteer to work a 12-hour shift and buy their meals?
The Villages, Fla.
‘Volunteer’ shouldn’t have to pay to help
How can you even have the audacity to call someone a “volunteer” when he has to pay to be one? (“Volunteers lend a hand in labor of love,” March 15).
I volunteer for three charities: lung, cancer and heart. None of them has ever asked me for one red cent.
I have called up tournaments and asked to volunteer, but I do not have the $75, so can I still be a part of the volunteer efforts . . . and before I finish the statement, they say, “No.” We give you shirts and lunch, they say, so in effect you are a contract person, not a volunteer.
I suggest that anyone volunteering at golf tournaments check clearly to see if you are covered by the tournament's insurance policy in case you get injured “volunteering.”
Boca Raton, Fla.
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